Implementing a Pick-to-Light Solution

For distribution operations where 80 percent or more of item-level picking volume comes from 20 percent or less of the SKU base, pick-to-light solutions can help optimize productivity and accuracy. Christina Dube, marketing communications manager of Westbrook, Maine-based materials handling solutions provider Kardex Remstar, offers these tips for selecting and implementing pick-to-light technology at your […]

Paul A. Myerson

Tapping Technology To Improve Lean Warehouses

Lean is traditionally thought of as a methodology for using visual signals, optimized layouts, and streamlined processes to improve material and information flow. But technology also plays a critical role in Lean operations, especially for companies managing global supply chains. Implementing forecasting, advanced planning and scheduling, distribution requirements planning, and transportation and warehouse management systems […]

Ed Smith

Improving Efficiencies and Costs in the Energy Supply Chain

Maintenance, logistics, and materials management professionals in upstream and downstream production are facing challenging times. Price volatility and increasing operating costs are causing energy companies to scrutinize sourcing strategies and the costs associated with vendor managed inventory (VMI), consignment, and integrated supplier programs. Additionally, more difficult oil and gas extraction methods — such as tar […]

Kris Kosmala

Optimized Operations Are Green Operations

Many companies in the ocean shipping industry are coping with increasing operating costs, below break-even performance, and aggressive price competition. Under these circumstances, the environmental impact of shipping, and ways to minimize its harmful emissions, are pushed into the shadow of more urgent cost-cutting activities. In the meantime, governments around the world continue introducing environmental […]

How to Take Advantage of Intermodal Transportation

How to Take Advantage of Intermodal Transportation

Looming truck driver and capacity shortages, freight rate increases, Hours-of-Service and CSA regulations, and sustainability mandates are compelling many shippers to consider domestic intermodal solutions for the long haul. Perceptions are changing. There are fewer excuses and less resistance. Market constraints aside, rail services and intermodal transit times have become more dependable, making it easier […]

How to Manage Hours-of-Service Regulations Compliance

How to Manage Hours-of-Service Regulations Compliance

Now that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules have entered into force, trucking companies and shippers need to account for these regulatory changes. Any company that is working in a fast-paced, time-definite shipping environment is especially vulnerable. The new HOS regulations feature two key provisions: Limitations on minimum “34-hour restarts.” Where previously […]

How to Transform Your Supply Chain Through a 4PL Approach

How to Transform Your Supply Chain Through a 4PL Approach

When companies have a huge hill to climb in strategic business process change, radical growth they don’t know how to handle, market volatility, acquisitions, or significant supply chain performance issues, a fourth-party logistics (4PL) provider strategy can help align and direct projects with an eye toward future goals. The 4PL engagement begins with formulating a […]

Felecia Stratton

Shining the Light on Pioneers and Prospects

During its annual conference in October, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) commemorated its 50th anniversary. Important milestones like this breed nostalgia. Understandably, then, much of this year’s conference in Denver focused on honoring pioneers who helped shape our industry. While it was interesting to look back, many conversations I had with CSCMP […]

Mara Gonzalez: Import Expert

Mara Gonzalez: Import Expert

Mara Gonzalez is director of purchasing at Vino del Sol, a specialist in Argentinean wines that also markets wines from California, Chile, Japan, and New Zealand. Based in Arlington, Va., Gonzalez has served in her current position since 2011. Responsibilities: Overseeing the entire supply chain, with work focused on purchasing, administration, and regulatory compliance. Experience: […]

Trends—November 2013

Trends—November 2013

Healthcare Execs Target Logistics Pain Points Regulatory compliance is the chief supply chain challenge facing global healthcare logistics executives, closely followed by product security and cost management, according to UPS’s annual survey of the top supply chain and business challenges and investment plans of global healthcare logistics executives in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device […]

Global Logistics—November 2013

Global Logistics—November 2013

Aviation Climate Emissions Agreement Flies Forward The October 2013 agreement by 191 countries at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) general assembly in Montreal, which will develop a global market-based measure for aviation emissions by 2020, is a major breakthrough in the development of global standards for the industry. Under terms of the resolution, governments […]

George Prest

Opportunities in the Southeast are Fueling Logistics Growth

It’s no secret that the Southeast has experienced tremendous growth as a logistics market over the last decade. There are many reasons behind this growth. The region is home to 45 percent of the U.S. population. It also has a strong transportation infrastructure and access to seaports. That, coupled with relatively low labor and real […]

Tom Heine

Saving Time and Money Through Automation

au•to•ma•tion (n): The technique, method, or system of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means, as by electronic devices, reducing human intervention to a minimum.   — Dictionary.com The number-one expense for brokers and 3PLs is payroll. Every function employees deal with has a cost in hourly pay, salary, or commission. Whether they are paid […]

Curtis Greve

Plan Early for Peak Returns Season

By late fall, supply chain executives worldwide are well prepared for the high-volume year-end holiday season. But following close behind it is peak returns season. Now is the time to plan for managing the returns, overstocks, and recalls businesses will process between mid-December and early March. During peak returns season, companies handle up to 45 […]

Robert Brenner

Nearshoring in Mexico: The Benefits of Shared Borders

Offshore manufacturing has been synonymous with the Pacific Rim for decades, and it’s still often the best option for saving a line of business that might otherwise decline because of rising labor costs. As the offshoring trend has progressed, however, the drawbacks of moving production far from demand have become more obvious. For example, the […]

Ashton Shaw

Using SmartWay Data to Inform Transportation Purchasing Decisions

In 2014, SmartWay will celebrate 10 years of providing the transportation industry with tools to measure, benchmark, and take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve fuel efficiency. Partnering with groups such as SmartWay allows shippers and third-party logistics (3PL) providers to equip themselves with actionable data and, in turn, use that information to […]

Creating a Greener Warehouse

Reducing warehouse energy and water consumption ultimately helps companies improve their bottom line and bring value to customers. Tim Barrett, COO, and Arthur Barrett, president of Massachusetts-based Barrett Distribution offer their tips for creating a greener warehouse. 1. Reduce energy waste. Implement strict rules for truck idling time in parking lots and at loading docks. […]

Paul A. Myerson

Putting a Lean Spin on Reverse Logistics

Reverse logistics—the processes involved with handling products returned by customers—is often overlooked during supply chain planning. As a result, it is frequently a source of waste, because companies lack Lean procedures for handling defective, damaged, mislabeled, or incorrectly shipped items when customers return them. Recently, businesses have started paying more attention to their reverse logistics […]

Joel Anderson

How Will the Affordable Care Act Impact Shippers?

Companies large and small are assessing the impact the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will have on employee benefits. The mandates of the act start Jan. 1, 2014, and employers are examining a variety of responses. Shippers must not only face the question of how this legislation relates to their own operations and […]

Perry Belcastro

Fine-Tuning Fulfillment for Happy Holidays

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday season are fast approaching. For many companies, including retailers and online merchants, the holidays are the year’s peak sales period. With so much on the line, it is critical to be prepared. Today’s consumers have no tolerance for inaccurate orders, delayed shipments, or unresponsive customer service. They expect […]

<em>Inbound Logistics’</em> 2013 Shipping Lines Guide

Inbound Logistics’ 2013 Shipping Lines Guide

Since economic recession began spreading around the world in 2008, the ocean freight industry has been in a period of marked transition. The rise and fall of global economies has precipitated a similar effect as global steamship lines try to balance capacity to demand—all while seeking rate stability and reducing costs. Larger, greener ships are […]

Trends—October 2013 

Trends—October 2013 

Warehousing 2018: Rise of the Adaptive DC As supply chains shift their moorings and settle into new realities—the permanence of e-commerce, sustainability, risk management, total landed cost sensitivity, and demand-driven strategies—distribution centers are evolving in kind. Stock characterizations of warehousing are falling to the wayside. DCs are becoming more complex and sophisticated; so are their […]

Global Logistics—October 2013

Global Logistics—October 2013

Sub-Saharan Africa Targets U.S. for Growth With constantly changing regulations, poor transportation infrastructure, and unstable governments, one might think cross-border trade with Sub-Saharan Africa is just too difficult to pursue. DHL Express doesn’t see it that way. The express courier company, which has been operating in Sub-Saharan Africa for 35 years, recently invited Inbound Logistics […]

Felecia Stratton

All Aboard a Modal Conversion

Intermodal is crossing over. In August 2013, U.S. domestic traffic averaged 257,795 units per week, the highest weekly average ever recorded, according to the Association of American Railroads. All indications suggest intermodal growth will continue to roll. As over-the-road shippers embrace the efficiency, economy, and sustainability of shifting truck shipments to rail, a conversion is […]

Leveraging Packaging-On-Demand Solutions

Packaging-on-demand solutions enable businesses to create cardboard boxes from bulk corrugated material in a variety of sizes—saving inventory space, and packaging and labor costs. Lance Wallin, executive director of global packaging systems for packaging solutions provider Sealed Air’s Protective Packaging Division, offers these tips for using packaging-on-demand solutions efficiently. 1. Select systems that can accommodate […]

Chris Carlson: All Charged Up

Chris Carlson: All Charged Up

Chris Carlson is vice president of Batteries Plus Bulbs, a retailer of batteries and light bulbs based in Hartland, Wis., with more than 570 corporate and franchise locations in the United States and Puerto Rico. He has held this position since 2011. Responsibilities: Transportation, warehousing, vendor management, demand planning, part of the China supply chain, […]

Ed Glassman

Automating B2B Payments: The Next Frontier

When it comes to automation in B2B payments, we have a long way to go. Too often, payments are disconnected from the underlying commercial transaction, creating problems from proper initiation to reconciliation. Automating B2B payments is challenging for many reasons. Selling a product or service and getting paid are often two different processes. Anyone who […]

John Woods

Creating More Intelligent Supply Chains with BI Technology

For suppliers in today’s business world, having a firm grasp on supply chain and logistics issues is a top concern. As internal operations and external supply-chain activities become more complex, these companies depend on current information to optimize productivity, improve customer service, and minimize expenses. Business intelligence (BI) technology improves supply chain operations by helping […]

Greg Syfan

Technology Supports 3PL-Carrier Partnerships

Q: How has technology enhanced the relationship between third-party logistics (3PL) providers and carriers? A: The term "shuttle diplomacy" typically describes foreign negotiations between governments and political entities across great divides. Technology has served the same role in the transportation industry, particularly in strengthening partnerships between 3PLs and carriers. In the past, carriers and brokers […]

Steve Martin

The Benefits of an Integrated Transportation Solution

Q: What market trends are compelling shippers to reconsider their transportation management strategy? A: For one, a capacity shortage is happening. Shippers are also pressed by equipment investment and maintenance, transportation regulations, and the costs incurred trying to recruit and retain qualified drivers. As a result, some private-fleet owners are questioning that model. Should transportation […]

Trucking Perspectives 2013

Trucking Perspectives 2013

Shippers and carriers face myriad uncertainties as the economy slowly begins to recover. Will compliance with new regulations raise rates? Is a capacity crunch on the horizon? Do green mandates raise red flags? And what about a driver shortage? Inbound Logistics’ exclusive trucking market research survey provides some in-depth answers.

Chris Giltz

Using In-Truck Technology to Cut Costs

Q: What cost factor should shippers prioritize during carrier selection? A: Invoice price is often the driving factor in carrier selection— which is logical, because everyone operates with very thin margins. But that may be flawed thinking. Instead, consider the total cost of utilizing a carrier. For example, administrative costs are a large part of […]

Keith Biondo

5 Trucking Trends on the Table

Our Annual Trucking Issue offers a buffet of valuable information for you to chew on and digest. Here are five key takeaways that will whet your appetite for more: 1. Sharing of information, shipments, assets, and space is on the upswing. For example, OEMs and auto parts suppliers who were previously reluctant to divvy up […]

Optimizing Your DC Network

Establishing an efficient distribution center network requires careful planning and frequent updates. Nathan Beene, director of logistics engineering for Chattanooga, Tenn.-based logistics provider Kenco, offers these tips for building and maintaining an optimized DC network. 1. Do your homework. Start with a thorough optimization study. Use network optimization software to plot the pattern of inbound […]

Alana Miedrich: Making Wishes Come True

Alana Miedrich: Making Wishes Come True

Alana Miedrich is the inventory and logistics assistant at Kids Wish Network, a children’s charity in Holiday, Fla., that assists children and families experiencing life-altering situations. Alana joined Kids Wish Network in early 2013. Responsibilities: Inbound and outbound transportation of all items donated to Kids Wish Network. Experience: Bookkeeper and marketing, Children of the Nations […]

Trends—September 2013

Trends—September 2013

Hours-of-Service: A Question of Time Trying to wrap your head around the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations that went into effect July 1, 2013, is a numbers game. Put simply: "You almost have to be a math major to understand the new Hours-of-Service rules," says Don Jerrell, associate vice president, risk […]

Global Logistics—September 2013<br />

Global Logistics—September 2013

Brown Sees Red UPS‘s recent announcement that it will expand its presence in China with the addition of two new contract logistics facilities in Chengdu and Shanghai is indicative of the country’s growing consumer base. The two centers will provide distribution and warehousing solutions to shippers who want to reach customers within China. The expansions […]

John Fowler

Study Up on Supply Chain Graduate Degrees With Added Value

As supply chain networks become increasingly complex, with tighter deadlines and greater financial risks from disruptions, many supply chain professionals seek graduate-level education and credentials to assist them in their current positions or to advance their careers. Many universities offer master of science degrees in supply chain management (SCM), but a new trend is emerging: […]

John T. Costanzo

U.S./Canada Border Clearance: It’s Not as Easy as You Think

Many U.S. companies underestimate the complexity of shipping to Canada, thinking of it almost as an extension of their own country. Geographic proximity, shared language, and common culture leave the impression that sending goods across the border should be a breeze. Yet increasingly stringent security mandates, bureaucratic customs requirements, and a battery of taxes, tariffs, […]

Curtis Greve

Discovering the Value of Reverse Logistics

Some people think of reverse logistics—the process of removing assets from their primary use channel to a secondary channel to maximize the assets’ value—as only handling customer returns or defective goods. But defective items account for only about 25 percent of the total value of all assets processed in reverse logistics operations. Recalled product, overstocks, […]

Linda Taddonio

The Five New Rules of E-commerce and the Path to Successful B2B Online Sales

Does business-to-business e-commerce figure prominently in your organization’s strategic plans? If not, you are missing a key inflection point emerging in the market today. Industry analyst firm Forrester estimates the B2B e-commerce market is expected to reach $559 billion by the end of 2013. This significant opportunity has been recognized by Internet heavyweights Amazon and […]

Joe Pampel

Moving Logistics Technology to the Cloud Dispels the Fog of Uncertainty

Cloud computing offers democracy to logistics and transportation providers, putting small and mid-sized providers on the same playing field as large global companies. With a strong technology platform, cloud computing can serve as a logistics company’s differentiator for its intellectual capital and other critical information and data. The advantages for logistics companies of moving to […]

Mike Nervick

Expecting the Unexpected: The True Test of Leadership

Regardless of whether you run a global organization or are just starting your logistics career, you already know that no two days in this business are ever alike. Every day is unique depending on what customers are being served, and where their goods are being shipped. Some days require more fortitude than others, however. Issues […]

Anand Raghavendran

Three Top Myths About Foreign Trade Zones Dispelled

When supply chain and logistics managers think Foreign Trade Zone—the program that allows companies to defer paying customs duties, fees, and taxes on merchandise imported into the United States until consumed, used in construction, or leaving the zone—several adjectives come to mind. Usually those descriptors are not: smooth, cost-effective, and easy to manage. Instead they […]

Paul A. Myerson

We’re All in This Together: Teamwork in a Lean Workplace

While some Lean practitioners focus on manufacturing pioneer Taiichi Ohno’s Seven Wastes (transportation, inventory, motion, waiting, overproduction, overprocessing, and defects), many add an eighth waste: behavioral waste, or under-utilized employees. It takes a real change management effort to successfully implement a Lean program—especially when it involves changing workers’ habits. Someone who has been doing a […]

Patrick Labriola

When Government Oversight of Motor Carriers Fails, Shippers Pay

While overall truck accident rates have been trending lower over the past several years, avoidable carrier accidents are still common. Comprehensive safety compliance reviews (CRs) by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) protect lives and property. In the year after a CR is conducted, crashes decrease 16.3 percent, according to […]

Blake Vaughn

Consumer Electronics and Reverse Logistics: Play It Again

Shoppers return between 11 and 20 percent of consumer electronics devices, according to industry experts. While returns are the beginning to device recovery, all the steps in the reverse logistics process, including repair/refurbishment and remarketing, can be improved. Recognizing the importance of reverse logistics in maintaining and growing profit margins, many consumer electronics manufacturers and […]

Felecia Stratton

Keeping Track of Time

If your average day is anything like mine, you face an endless barrage of internal emails, corporate memos, newsletters, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to refinance a home loan. Spam filters, email notifications, and custom preferences help organize this self-perpetuating info soup, making it easier to manage communications—then act according to priority. Complicating matters is the reality […]

Selecting the Right Drayage Provider

Drayage—moving shipments short distances, such as from a port to a nearby warehouse—plays a critical role in intermodal moves, and selecting the right motor carrier partner goes well beyond the lowest rate. Once you move past monetary considerations, examine the total service offering to ensure your drayage provider is the perfect fit. James Miller, account […]

Hu Huang: Bright Light in Global Trade

Hu Huang: Bright Light in Global Trade

Hu Huang is director of international logistics and customs compliance at Kichler Lighting in Cleveland, which is among the top one percent of importers in the United States. She has worked for Kichler since 1988, and served in her current position since 2002. Responsibilities: Worldwide imports and exports, including direct imports to Fortune 100 companies; […]

Trends—August 2013

Trends—August 2013

The Government is ‘Helping’ Again… Transportation and logistics companies have a hard enough time navigating the twists and turns in today’s economic landscape without facing inertia from the executive branch. But states are strapped for cash, and lawmakers are trapped by special interests. Many are acting on impulse, then ducking for cover. The Minnesota State […]

Global Logistics—August 2013

Global Logistics—August 2013

America’s Global Image: Taking a Closer View Yahoo! News paints a pretty grim picture of how outsiders perceive the United States: "Who loves ya, baby? If you’re the United States of America, the answer is fewer and fewer people around the world," according to a recent blog by the online news aggregator. Yahoo! might consider […]

Feeding the Line

Feeding the Line

When you make materials or components for other companies, their production rhythms become just as important as your own.

Nikki Cuban

Get Airborne with Asset Tracking

In today’s complex global supply chain, transportation delays, security issues, and spoiled or lost cargo too often disrupt the distribution process. In air transportation, cargo often travels via multiple airports, airlines, ground handlers, and across geographies, creating ample opportunity for problems to occur. While other transport modes have had the benefits of GPS technology to […]

Mark Hogan

Have You Seen That 584-Page ‘Map’ Yet?

If you are reading this magazine, you are likely either directly or indirectly involved in the $700 billion domestic freight industry. So you know that to be successful, every logistics organization must overcome hurdles that challenge profitability, on-time service and, most importantly, safety. One of these hurdles should not be a marketplace that tolerates carriers, […]

Lift Trucks on the Rise

Lift Trucks on the Rise

Ready to invest in new and upgraded lift trucks to boost warehouse efficiency? Consider these three trends before making your move.

<em>Inbound Logistics</em>’ Summer Reading Guide 2013

Inbound Logistics’ Summer Reading Guide 2013

Hitting the beach this summer? Don’t forget to bring something to read. Whether you need just a little brushing up, or are looking for the latest best practices to streamline your supply chain, sharpen your logistics skills with these books covering everything from Lean practices to information technology.

Cross-border Trade Secrets

Cross-border Trade Secrets

When moving shipments into and out of Canada, what you don’t know can hurt you. Specialized logistics providers can help you capitalize on opportunities, ensure compliance, and keep you safe from harm.

Bruce Moore

Using Big Data to Build Tomorrow’s Supply Chain Today

Q: How can transportation and logistics companies use big data to differentiate themselves? A: Supply chain professionals in all industries and government sectors must transform their supply chain process to meet organizational strategies and goals. Information fusion breaks down the barriers spanning all demand-supply enterprises. A critical requirement is real-time, high-quality, reliable data and information […]

Joe Baker

The Case for Transportation Management Software

Q: What innovative technology initiatives help increase supply chain efficiencies? A: The number one return on investment (ROI) that will provide continuous process improvement, and at the same time keep freight costs under control, is integrating a transportation management system (TMS) with a shipper’s existing systems, such as an ERP solution, warehouse or order management […]

Michael Greco

Meeting the Challenges of the Ever-Evolving Compliance Environment

Q: Even though developing markets are growing rapidly, many companies are reluctant to expand operations overseas because they do not have relationships there, are unsure of the infrastructure, or are not familiar with local demands and requirements. What options are open to them? A: Looking for the right place to expand overseas is more important […]

Ty Bordner

Making a Business Case for GTM

Q: What is the role of global trade management (GTM) in organizations today? A: In today’s world, GTM is more than compliance. GTM practitioners should think of GTM as standing on three equal pillars: compliance, supply chain finance, and global logistics. A holistic approach is necessary given the growing complexity—both in regulations and geography—of international […]

Mike Albert

Collaborative Freight Strategies Offer Lower-Cost Alternative to LTL

Q: Why is it important for small and mid-sized consumer packaged goods (CPG) shippers to collaborate on freight strategies to remain competitive? A: If they don’t, they will continue to pay more than their larger competitors, who have the volume to ship more economical full truckloads. For years, smaller shippers have accepted the higher cost […]

Steve Dollase

Trading Partner Collaboration Yields Supply Chain Value

Q: How can value chain partners collaborate to create and share efficiencies? A: Retailers and manufacturers have made progress in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of their individual supply chains. They have found savings and efficiencies, and implemented new processes. Now, trading partners must collaborate to find new avenues for improvement. The competitive retail landscape […]

Jeffrey R. Brashares

Intermodal Transportation’s Strategic Advantage

Q: Why are shippers making intermodal more integral to their logistics strategies? A: Shippers are using intermodal for a variety of reasons. In many rail corridors, intermodal provides a much better value proposition than highway. Rail transportation is often more energy efficient, so “going green” in intermodal means moving freight costs less. With the driver […]

Michael P. Dolan

TMS or 3PL: Which Suits Your Business Best?

Q: How does implementing a transportation management system (TMS) compare to engaging a third-party logistics (3PL) service provider? A: A TMS provider’s core business is offering software solutions that solve customer transportation requirements. Companies that implement TMS solutions are looking for certain capabilities: maintaining relationships with carriers; improving supply chain management and effectiveness; streamlining operations; […]

Keith Biondo

Business Process Improvement? Flexibility.

In his futile search for the Fountain of Youth, Ponce de León walked right past untold riches. If you are not evaluating your third-party logistics providers for their ability to drive strategic improvements in your enterprise, you may be doing the same thing. Thirty-three percent of respondents to our annual 3PL Perspectives market research survey […]

Felecia Stratton

Finding Supply Chain Feng Shui

Business process improvement is especially important in today’s economic climate. Businesses are sensitive to fixed costs when the economy is swinging like a pendulum. There’s shared recognition that they have to stick to their principal business to grow out of the recession; and logistics execution and supply chain excellence is too important to ignore. That’s […]

Choosing the Right Airfreight Forwarder

In a global supply chain, timing and visibility are critical. So is selecting the best freight forwarder. Vito Losurdo, vice president of global airfreight services at UPS, offers the following advice for picking the best airfreight forwarder for your business. 1. Look for a broad portfolio. Partner with an established forwarder that provides a comprehensive […]

Matthew Wood: Finding a Cure for High Freight Costs

Matthew Wood: Finding a Cure for High Freight Costs

Matthew Wood is manager of the freight program, supply chain management, at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He has held this position since 2012. Responsibilities: Managing freight expenditures for all items purchased by organizations within Mayo Clinic; helping departments find ways to reduce their freight costs; marketing those services to other healthcare organizations. Experience: More […]

Eric Lail

Extended LEAN™ Increases Speed to Competitive Advantage. Continuous Improvement Method Takes Companies from Surviving to Thriving

Most operations and logistics leaders have spent at least part of their careers implementing LEAN principles within companies to improve quality, cost and delivery performance. The majority likely learned basic LEAN methods in week-long doses of kaizen ("good change" in Japanese) events trying to reduce wastes. Today many of those early adopters—and new LEAN thinkers […]

Trends—July 2013

Trends—July 2013

The 24th Annual State of Logistics Report: ‘Business Unusual’ Defines New Normal A long and winding path toward recovery has arrived at a seminal question: "Is this the new normal?" That was the topic and title of the annual State of Logistics presentation at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in June 2013. That […]

Global Logistics—July 2013 

Global Logistics—July 2013 

Brazilian Shippers Safer by Sea Poor road infrastructure and rampant larceny are forcing some Brazilian shippers to consider unconventional transport options. Case in point: Paranapanema, the country’s largest refined copper producer, has shifted domestic shipments from trucks to slow-moving ocean freighters, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Although the mode shift nearly triples transport times, it cuts […]

Keith Hendrickson

Mobility Solutions That Improve Field Productivity

The freight and logistics industry is truly a mobile world. People, products, and packages are constantly on the move from one location to another, and employees are increasingly using smartphones in their daily lives—with all the benefits of continuous, high-bandwidth connectivity, stronger device capabilities, and more targeted applications. So how can the industry take advantage […]

Bobby Harris

3PLs Can Provide Soft Cost Savings for Small Businesses

Shipping is the second-largest cost many small businesses incur, after labor. Despite the challenges they face—including high gas prices, advancing technologies, and competitive markets—small companies must continue to move products from Point A to Point B. To keep productivity high and customers happy, some small businesses seek ways to cut shipping costs, including engaging third-party […]

Lorcan Sheehan

Preparation: Your Best Asset in Managing Supply Chain Disruptions

Supply disruptions occur daily, caused by delayed deliveries; weather impacts on inbound supply; and prolonged standstills associated with natural disasters, port labor strikes, or critical supplier failures. Whatever the reason for the disruption, supply chain managers prove their value by delivering—no matter the circumstances. An active risk management process helps identify a range of possible […]

Kurt Nagle

Improving America’s Ports: A Vital Step in U.S. Economic Recovery

In its March 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) included port infrastructure for the first time in its comprehensive infrastructure analysis. ASCE’s reports are instrumental in showing the need for infrastructure investment, and the economic impact of its neglect. Advocating for increased federal investment in seaport-related infrastructure—including both […]